Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Thomas Partey is “close” to returning to full fitness following a thigh injury.
The Ghanaian international has not featured since being taken off against Aston Villa in the 1-0 defeat earlier this month but he is expected to have a late fitness test to see whether he can be involved against Benfica tomorrow night.
Arteta’s only other injury concern is Rob Holding. The centre-back suffered a concussion in the 1-0 loss to Manchester City at the weekend and, while the player has suffered no ill effects from the injury, protocols dictate he won’t be able to play in Thursday’s game.
There is a minimum five-day process that has to be undertaken. Holding needs to rest then take part in light aerobic exercise. He will then need to do some sport-specific drills before doing a non-contact training session. From there, he is then allowed to return to full-contact team practice.